Europe ipod question

Mar 22nd, 2007, 06:24 AM
  #1  
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Europe ipod question

I gave my husband an ipod for Christmas and now it seems to be permanently attached to him. After several months we have finally finished loading his incredibly large music collection on it and he is giddy about the idea of driving all over Spain listening to it.

My question: we have a doohickie that goes into the cigarette lighter and plays the ipod through FM radio frequency. I know that all cigaretter lighters in the world are the same voltage, but what about FM frequencies? I'm taking one or two other backup charging mechanisms. And maybe I will pick up an FM frequency doohickie that doesn't require the cigarette lighter if they make such a thing. I've had a few problems getting things to physically fit in a European cigarette lighter, mainly because other things are in the way.

But will the darn thing play through the FM radio?
kelliebellie is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 06:38 AM
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Have you tried calling Apple as well?
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 07:17 AM
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The transmitter is a third party item, so I don't think Apple can help. I need an European radio frequency expert!
kelliebellie is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 08:09 AM
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They are actually illegal in many European countries! However they are tunable so you should be able to find a frequency that isn't used by a radio station, but beware it could be used by the emergency services! Yo may need to retune frequently depending how much travelling you do.
A better option is a device that fits in the casstte player on the car (if it has one) or ask the hire company if the radios have a line in - then you can get a short cable to conect your ipod to the radio.
hetismij is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 08:50 AM
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clz
 
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Maybe ours is different because it doesn't attach to the cig lighter (but I think that's just the power mechanism, right? ours has to be separately charged and connects straight into the ipod.)

Anyway, my husband bought it in Asia and I use it nearly every day with my American-bought Ipod in my car in England.
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Mar 22nd, 2007, 08:52 AM
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Hmmm..thanks for that reply. I had forgotten that the walkie talkies are illegal too. We have a direct cable. I will throw that in the suitcase. Our car is a itty bitty one, so I bet it won't have one. It might not have a cassette player either, but I will throw one of those in as well if I can find one on sale. I suppose if I have every device imaginable, one of them is bound to work!
kelliebellie is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 08:55 AM
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Yes, the cigarrete lighter portion just recharges the ipod. Good to know it works in England!
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Mar 22nd, 2007, 09:11 AM
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In some countries the attachment that allows you to play the Ipod over the radio is now legal (I have read this just recently; don't know if this includes Spain), but generally it doesn't work as well in Europe as in the US: there are not many free frequencies, and when you are travelling by car you would have to retune it regularly, which would be annoying. I have tried it at home (Belgium) and it works fine when at home, with a radio, but when driving it's useless.
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Mar 22nd, 2007, 11:31 AM
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Thanks all. I just returned from Sharper Image and Brookstone and picked up this awesome portable speaker. It actually sounded good. This way, if the FM thing doesn't pan out, we can listen to this and even have it in our hotel rooms. I might still try to look for a cassette attachment. We'll see how much I get done before we leave.

kelliebellie is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 05:17 PM
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Well I took back the Brookstone speaker. It sounded a lot worse at home with the ipod than at the store with a stereo. But I did find a Sony portable speaker set that is working great for us. So I think we are all set. I will try to do some research on if FM transmiters are legal in Spain now. Thanks all.
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Mar 22nd, 2007, 05:55 PM
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Kelliebellie- two years ago we took our iPod and the doohickie to tune through the FM radio frequency to France. We rented a Renault and the radio was an automatic tuning device. The problem we had was that we couldn't get a blank frequency to use for the the iPod. We even stopped at a Renault dealer and in our halting French tried to ask how to tune the radio to a blank frequency. We always laugh about what they thought about the crazy Americans.
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Mar 23rd, 2007, 05:07 AM
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I never thought of that! Yes, if you had no way to tune it manually then you would never have found a blank station!

I'm still tempted to pick up a cassette adaptor, but when we went to France last year with my lovely cassette tape of a driving tour, of course our car had no cassette player.

I will dig up our car reservation and see if it says anything about it.
kelliebellie is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 05:12 AM
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If the car is old enough to have a cassette player, it possibly isn't new enough to have a line in for the direct cable. This is the case with my own car. In that case, the cassette adapter would be useful.

If it is new enough to have a line in, it might not have a cassette player.

If you bring both, you are likely to be able to use one of them.
Nikki is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 05:27 AM
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Duh, we have a cassette adaptor for our XM radio. I'll have to plug it into the ipod and see if that works.
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Mar 23rd, 2007, 05:53 AM
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I'm not a techie and don't know much outside of UK, but I assume FM frequencies here would be similar to the US. FM radio stations frequencies are in 90MHz and 100 somethings.

Though not sure if this is the case in Spain. I think the ipod FM thingies are not allowed in UK (unless you apply for a FM broadcast license, I suppose).
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Mar 23rd, 2007, 06:34 AM
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I did see a message from a Spanard saying that they are illegal, but who cares because no follows the law in Spain anyway.

I hope they follow SOME laws!

So I guess if we get caught we can play the "dumb tourist" card.

Our car voucher doesn't specify radio type. Maybe I will call Hertz or e-mail them and see what is typically found in the car we are renting.
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Mar 23rd, 2007, 07:19 AM
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As a general rule, the ``citizen band'' frequencies legal for un-licensed short distance FM broadcast in the US (walkie talkie, CB radio, wireless internet, ipod/radio, cell phone) are not the same frequencies allowed in Europe.

Some European countries do not have a legal analog to citizen-band; in some countries the US frequencies are assigned to emergency services, and it is illegal for private persons to broadcast on those frequencies.

On the other hand, it is hard to get caught, especially if you are in transit.

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Mar 23rd, 2007, 07:21 AM
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Since it is a low level fm transmitter, it isn't like we are really "broadcasting" anything, is it? It certainly isn't like a walkie talkie or cb where the signal is going to travel for miles. I would think it wouldn't even leave our car, would it?
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Mar 23rd, 2007, 07:32 AM
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Well, one manufacturer says 10-35 feet.
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Apr 20th, 2007, 05:37 AM
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clz
 
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Just wanted to follow up to report that we successfully used our Ipod and FM transmitter in our rental car in Austria, Hungary, and Czech Republic!
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